From ‘the cloud’ to ‘my cloud’

Ahead of the Telecom Cloud Services Summit in Berlin in early May, caught up with Eduardo Mendez Polo, global services and cloud computing manager at Spanish carrier Telefónica, to talk about cloud as a technology and a business.

‘Cloud’ means many things to many people. What is your definition?

There are too many definitions of what “The Cloud” is and I do not want to add a new one that. My preference here is to change the perspective – ‘cloud’ only has a meaning for the final customer. So it is not “The Cloud”, it is now “My Cloud”. It is not a technology matter, it is the benefit my business gets from it.

Where do you believe the greatest opportunities are in terms of cloud technology adoption?

In the short term: cost and time-to-market significant reductions. In the long term, enhancements of service management through automation and standardisation.

Are you aware of any challenges to the adoption or deployment of cloud services?

Yes, every cloud customer must select carefully between the options to choose the one that meets all his/her requirements. But there is too much debate about this point, which does not add any additional issues than those we had to deal with for regular hosting offerings.

Should cloud primarily be used to optimise in house processes – such as optimising your data centres? Or are its main benefits those that can be passed on to customers – service delivery?

In the short term there are important internal benefits that deliver service management optimisation. Although final customers may benefit from the cost reduction through price, the main benefit will come once the customer-provider as a pair find the best approach to manage and govern the service.

Which key markets do you see cloud as a good fit for? Is it restricted to vertical markets?

Most predictions and trends show that (Infrastructure as a Service) IaaS is the key business offering in the next few years. IaaS, by nature, is wide market offering. Specialist catering to vertical markets is coming mainly through SaaS. But in my opinion, the long term will show a significant increase is SaaS specialisation, as the small office/home office market loses its fears about the cloud.

How important are partnerships in the cloud space? Are enablers needed to make a successful move into the area?

Partnerships must take a key role in cloud adoption. In my opinion the integrator role is key to adapt to a cloud environment, so they can help the final customer get the most benefit.

With regards to technology – is cloud a mature model?

Pure technology has a high maturity level. Tools still need to “arrive to a safe harbour”, as standardisation is still an open issue. Processes will be the final aspect as organisations will need to fix them. ITIL and ISO 20.000 will evolve to include specific cloud use cases.

With regards to business model – how does cloud change the game?

For hosting providers, it means greater competition as new players are entering the market. For telecoms providers it opens an opportunity to provide additional value to business customers.

Which companies do you see as pioneers in cloud adoption?

Two cases: Dreamworks (as a showcase of effectively offshoring computing loads to an external provider) and pharmaceutical firm Lilly (as a case of how a corporate efficiency strategy is met in the IT world).

Eduardo Mendez is speaking on telecom cloud provider differentiation – from product to service, on day one of the event.


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